India ranks 93rd in Forbes list of best nations for business

Forbes 9th annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business has placed India on 93rd position out of 146 nations.

The main reason India is placed at lower rank is due many challenges that needs to be fully addressed  like poverty, corruption, violence and discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights and decades-long civil litigation dockets.

Every year Forbes determines the Best Countries for Business by grading 146 nations on 11 different factors such as property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.

This year among various factors, India has ranked:

122 on the trade freedom index, 135 in monetary freedom, 120 in technology, 122 in tax burden, 128 in red tape, 78  in corruption parameter and  55 on property rights.

Best performance: 3rd in market performance index  and 7th on investor protection.

Key facts

Government release draft approach Paper for e-auctioning of coal mines

Government has released a draft ‘approach paper’ for e- auctioning of the coal mines.   This approach paper will open for public consultation till 22nd December.

The approach paper includes details about the procedure for the auction of Schedule II & Schedule III blocks which is specified in the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance 2014.

Central government is planning to conduct two-stage bidding under this ordinance. In the first phase of e-auction, 92 blocks will be auctioned.

Key facts

  • Reverse and forward bidding: The e-auction will take place in reverse and forward bidding. There will be tariff based reverse bidding where the end use is generation of power and forward bidding for production of steel, cement and power generation for captive use. Thus auction procedure will be different for power and non-power companies.
  • Potential bidders: Potential bidders after being eligible in the technical stage would be allowed to participate in the e-auction and submit price offers. They will be pre-qualified bidders and selected from top 50 per cent of technical stage.
  • Technical stage: The potential bidders have to go technical eligibility and have to meet criteria of end-usage of coal, amount of coal needed for same and distance of end-use plant to the mine and the completion status of the same.
  • Indicative price: Bidders shall offer bid price per tonne of the coal produced. Such bid price shall be above the floor price in case of forward bidding or below the ceiling price in case of reverse bidding.
  • Ceiling price: On fixing the ceiling price for coal mines to be auctioned for power projects having cost—plus power purchase agreements, a ceiling price of the prevailing CIL notified price for each coal mine will be fixed and the bidder will be mandated to quote lower than this ceiling price. It will help power sector bidders to prevent shooting up of power tariff.
  • Reserve price: The reserve price for blocks to be auctioned for power projects will be fixed at Rs. 100/tonne.


In September 2014, Supreme Court had cancelled the allotment of 214 coal mines to various companies since 1993, saying the process used to assign coal licences by successive governments was “arbitrary and illegal.”

In October, in this regard government has issued an ordinance to facilitate fresh allotment through auction.

Thus by releasing the draft approach paper, government is aiming to create a speedy and proper way for auctioning and allotment of 214 coal blocks which were cancelled by the Supreme Court.

Union Cabinet approves GST Amendment Bill

Union Cabinet has approved the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) thus clearing the way for its introduction in ongoing Winter session of Parliament.

This bills aims to bring about long-pending indirect tax reforms and government planning to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 01 April 2016.

Cabinets nod comes after the Centre and states reached a consensus on deadlock related to contentious issues, including petroleum product taxation.